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Intel 32Gb chip would allow 64GB jukeboxes

updated 09:05 am EDT, Thu May 29, 2008

Intel 32Gb Flash Chip

Intel's NAND flash group today introduced the first flash memory to be made on a sub-40 nanometer manufacturing process. Based on a 34nm process, the chip co-developed with Micron holds 32 gigabits (4GB) like the highest-end flash chips but does so in a standard package smaller than a thumbnail; this lets manufacturers build in the extra storage without having to significantly overhaul their existing hardware, Intel says. The company also hopes it will drive the cost down of expanding storage without affecting size.

Like most flash memory, the chip can be stacked and put side-by-side with others to boost the capacity of a device. The design is officially intended for solid-state drives and will help Intel get even 1.8-inch ultraportable SSDs (such as that in the MacBook Air) "beyond" 256GB in the future, but will also apply to other devices that need flash storage. A two-layer stack of eight cores per stack could hold 64GB of data, or enough to hold as much as eight hours of full-quality HD video on a camcorder or 16,000 songs on a portable media player.

The semiconductor firm plans a quick turnaround for its flash technology and plans to send out samples of the 32Gb chip to partner companies June, with mass production slated for the second half of the year. None of Intel's customers have been named, though the firm plans to make self-branded SSDs in addition to selling the chips to others.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. ClevelandAdv

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2004


    SSD life-span

    It was my understanding that SSD have a much lower life-span than traditional hard drives. And they would be gin to fail after 100,000 or so read-writes.

    Has this issue been addressed or can we expect to replace these every year.

  1. mgpalma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000


    re: every year

    If this limitation (100,000 w/r) is still the case then, you would have to write over the same space 270 times a day to 'use up the drive' in 1 years time. Doesn't seem likely.

  1. mmmdoughnuts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006


    when used as an OS drive

    it just might be possible when a drive is nearly full of "music" or pictures and the OS only has the same portion of the drive to write the swap file. I think you could come close to that 270 times a day if you use a mixing application, photoshop another memory intensive program.

  1. rtbarry

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001



    the word jukebox is in the title of this story, a story which never again refers to a jukebox. quickly mentions portable media players... but jukebox?

    since when did my grandma start writing for MacNN? she loved jukeboxes. (she's dead by the way, before you say anything bad about her.)

  1. Commodus

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Feb 2002


    SSD longevity

    Actually, I remember that most SSDs tend to last as long or longer than most rotating drives -- that Samsung 256GB SSD from earlier in the week lasts for one million hours. That would be about 114 years before it's predicted to conk out.

    Of course, if this ends up in a 32GB iPhone or 64GB iPod touch, it won't even matter as much. Few people will keep a gadget like that for long enough, and they rarely rewrite drive areas for more than a few times a week (usually to load new music).

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